Beware on-line impostors

Employers who ignore conventional job applications and selection in favour of on-line job-hunters do so at their own risk, a recruitment expert warned delegates.

Dr Robert McHenry, employment psychologist at Oxford Psychologists’ Press, told employers they could miss out on suitable applicants if they used only the Internet to select candidates.

An AGR report published last week (Personnel Today, 4 July) revealed that graduate recruitment over the Internet has doubled since last year. Yet many job seekers distrust the impersonality of applying on-line, delegates heard.

And McHenry warned that employers are at risk from bogus applicants because there is no way of testing the authenticity of on-line psychometric tests – used by many recruitment sites.

But he said on-line psychometric testing procedures could save companies money. These and other on-line recruitment services provide seamless automated services that save paper- work are standardised, cheap and save on staff costs, McHenry added.

McHenry tested a sample of the sites on offer on the Internet and assessed their strengths and weaknesses, including download time and quality of the testing itself.

He said, “One site claimed users would never need to hire an employee using conventional techniques ever again. Most of the sites also aim to deliver high quality applicants with incredible speed.

“But we have found some people respond better if there is a person there responding to them and giving them support.

“I think we are also seeing old and discredited methods in a modern package and we should be very careful before we approach those.”

AGR has more than 600 members from the private and public sectors, representing organisations such as ICL, BP Amoco, Asda, BT and the Metropolitan Police Force.

Established in 1968, it represents those providing the majority of graduate vacancies in the UK. It plays an important role in supporting employers in all aspects of graduate recruitment issues.

The association ensures its members’ views are heard at a national level through links with government policy makers, universities and careers services.

www.agr.org.uk

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